Arsenal v Wolves: Match Preview


Arsenal v Wolves; Emirates Stadium; Barclays Premier League; Tuesday 27 December 2011, 15:00

Team News

Arsene Wenger's defensive injury crisis has worsened with the news that left-back Kieran Gibbs is facing a further month on the sidelines after undergoing groin surgery.

However, Arsenal could be boosted by the return of Johan Djourou, who could feature at the Emirates Stadium today ahead of schedule, and Alex Song is also available for the Gunners after serving a one match ban.

Meanwhile, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has no new injury concerns ahead of their festive trip to north London with Jody Craddock [hamstring] and David Edwards [groin] hoping to make their respective comebacks.

Wenger hails 'miracle-worker' McCarthy

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is nothing short of a miracle-worker according to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has sung the praises of his opposite number ahead of today's Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

The French tactician has paid tribute to the way in which McCarthy has continually confounded his critics by establishing Wolves in the English top-flight, and fighting off the threat of relegation.

"Mick McCarthy is doing miracles at Wolves," Wenger told Arsenal's Official Matchday Programme. "He's always ready for a fight, never gives up, keeps his steadiness and mental strength, never shows any strain.

"Its great what he does for his club. I believe they play extremely good football as well."

The visiting manager kept Wolves in the Barclays Premier League by a point last season having also guided them to safety in their first year back in the top flight in 2009-10.

And with the club looking set for another battle for survival this campaign, Wenger believes the Wolves fans can take confidence from McCarthy's impressive managerial record.

"It demands special strength from the manager to fight until the last day with the uncertainty sometimes whether you will stay up," he added.

"A manager needs to be cool-blooded, strong, resilient and Mick McCarthy has all of these qualities."

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